Local

Local
5:37 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Misspelled name of fallen Vietnam veteran being corrected

U.S. Senator Schumer hands Settimi family with honor
WBFO News photo by Mark Leitner

The National Parks Service is promising to make right a 30-year wrong, with the correction of the misspelled name of a fallen Western New York hero on Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C.

For a Niagara Falls area family who lost a loved one in the Vietnam War, there is closure at last.

The family of army medic and Bishop Duffy High School graduate Roland Settimi has waited 30 years for a wrong to be made right.  Roland was killed in action in 1969. 

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Local
2:17 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

State establishes bureau to review wrongful conviction claims

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has announced establishment of a Conviction Review Bureau in New York to address potential wrongful convictions. 

Schneiderman says the bureau will work with law enforcement agencies across the state to ensure that those convicted of crimes are indeed the real perpetrators.  The AG's office will work with regional district attorneys to identify and address "compelling claims of innocence."  

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Local
10:52 am
Wed April 11, 2012

St John designated as Fruit Belt developer

Saint John Baptist Church is being named "designated developer" for 50 city-owned lots in the Fruit Belt as it moves forward on a multi-million dollar plan to build 49 rental town houses.

They will be scattered across the community on the now-vacant lots.

It's part of a continuing expansion of Saint John and its affiliates, including a charter school, a planned second charter and the leafy McCarley Gardens housing complex which it plans to sell to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

However, there are critics of the plan.

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Local
9:57 am
Wed April 11, 2012

Buffalo and Kanazawa, Japan: oldest Sister Cities relationship in America

Dr. Takako Michii, president of Buffalo-Kanazawa with Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown
Photo from Buffalo-Kanazawa Facebook page

Buffalo is celebrating its 50th anniversary with its sister city in Japan, Kanazawa. 

Celebrations begin Thursday night in Washington, D.C. then move to Buffalo next week with a series of events.

WBFO & AM-970’s Eileen Buckley spoke to the local president of Buffalo-Kanazawa about the relationship between two cities that share some similarities.

The relationship between Buffalo and Kanazawa is the oldest, continuous Sister Cities relationship in America.         

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Local
9:36 am
Wed April 11, 2012

Play ball!: Bisons start 25th season of downtown baseball

1988 Buffalo Bison Ticket to first game at then Pilot Field
WBFO News photos by Eileen Buckley

Wednesday's landmark celebration at Coca Cola Field offers a chance to reflect on the high expectations that came along with the 1988 opening of the $56 million stadium.

At its inception, it was known as Pilot Field, a new-look baseball stadium that was going to be the catalyst for Buffalo's efforts to acquire a Major League Baseball franchise.

Pete Weber was behind the microphone on April, 14th, 1988, broadcasting history as the Bisons opened their new home with a 1-0 win over the Denver Zephyrs.

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Local
9:28 am
Wed April 11, 2012

Large crowd attends zoning code hearing

Mayor Brown says city residents are truly concerned about the new zoning code and that's why they packed the auditorium at ECC City last night.

The last time the zoning code was replaced, Buffalo was a booming city with an industrial base and booming suburbs.

That was 60 years ago and the code has only been tinkered with since.

Now, there is a new code in the works with a final version slated to be ready for public hearings late this year.

The new code is planned to help create mixed-use, walkable places for the 21st Century.

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Local
5:37 pm
Tue April 10, 2012

Lawmakers revive talk of Bills stadium in downtown Buffalo

With the possibility of spending at least $100 million on repairing Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, city lawmakers are pushing for another look at instead building a new stadium in the City of Buffalo.

Erie County and the Bills are involved in talks about a new lease, although no details are being released. The current stadium needs significant repairs, with the estimate of $100 million being used frequently, although an in-depth study apparently hasn't been completed for the Bills.

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Local
4:13 pm
Tue April 10, 2012

Poloncarz releases four-year plan for Erie County

WBFO News file photo

A new four-year financial plan for Erie County has been released by County Executive Mark Poloncarz. The former county comptroller says the document is designed to more accurately reflect expenses and revenues from the previous proposals by former County Executive Chris Collins.

While Collins called for numerous job cuts, Poloncarz holds the line on county employment. The proposal calls for a seven percent increase in employment expenses by 2015, but also projects the reduction in the work force of about 50 jobs through attrition.

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Local
10:08 am
Tue April 10, 2012

Could eating placenta have medical benefits?

Both animal and human placenta has been used as an ingredient in cosmetics. But could ingesting it provide medical benefits?
RobinHamman via Flickr

Could eating placenta, or the afterbirth, provide medical benefits for mothers, or possibly, all humans? That’s the question behind a new paper from a team of Buffalo researchers. But, as Daniel Robison reports, finding the answer will not be easy.

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Local
9:29 am
Tue April 10, 2012

Cuomo says no, again, to medical marijuana

Governor Andrew Cuomo's aggressive legislative agenda will not include any action on the issue of medical marijuana.

Cuomo told reporters in Utica Monday that he understands there has been more research and the issue can be re-evaluated, but he doesn't believe there is enough time in this year's legislative session to do that properly.

In his 2010 campaign, Cuomo rejected legalizing marijuana for medical use, but has since said he's reconsidering.

Cuomo says New York still has what he calls ``a terrible problem'' with drug use.

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Local
9:23 am
Tue April 10, 2012

ECC hosts City Code meeting tonight

The public gets another chance to examine some of the concepts that may soon be part of Buffalo's updated City Code.

Tonight's meeting at 6:30 at  ECC City Campus is part of a lengthy process to revamp an often-amended code originally written in 1953.

With the assistance of an outside consultant, a series of meetings has developed a proposal which emphasizes walkable city neighborhoods and environmental sustainability.

Planners are hoping to bring a new code to the Common Council for a final vote by the end of this year.

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Local
8:58 am
Tue April 10, 2012

State parks restricting smoking areas

Visitors to New York State's parks may soon be limited in where they can smoke, with restrictions going into effect now.

The new restrictions aren't quite visible because the signs are only now being installed.

They will go around playgrounds, pools, beaches and food and beverage concessions.

Western District Director Mark Thomas says the restrictions reflect fewer smokers and decisions about the health effects on those who smoke and those who are around tobacco users.

He says the signs going up will show symbols rather than words.

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Local
8:33 am
Tue April 10, 2012

Children's museum proposed for Aud site

The children's museum Explore & More wants to move from East Aurora to a Waterfront location on the site of the old Memorial Auditorium.

In a location even Executive Director Barbara Leggett says is hard to find in East Aurora, 50,000 visitors still arrive each year.

With a Downtown Buffalo location on public transit lines, she says there could be 150,000 on the Aud site.

The museum has applied to the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation to be the cultural center for kids on the Waterfront.

Leggett says children's museums are different.

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Local
3:55 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

Airport construction work to slow morning traffic

Construction work at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport, set to begin late tonight, will cause some traffic delays for much of the spring and summer outside of the terminal. 

Both the upper departures deck and the lower arrivals area will undergo significant structural improvements including milling, paving and striping, as well as concrete and sidewalk repairs. 

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Local
9:30 am
Mon April 9, 2012

Poloncarz hits 100th day as County Executive

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz
WBFO News file photo

Critics and supporters offer various grades regarding the performance of Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz after 100 days in office.

Some, like Republican legislators Kevin Hardwick and Lynne Dixon, believe it's too early to give any grade besides an "incomplete."

Democratic supporters are offering high marks to Poloncarz while the County Executive has given himself an "A-minus or a B-plus."

Listen to more from WBFO/AM970's Mark Leitner.

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Local
9:30 am
Mon April 9, 2012

Higgins looks to boost infrastructure spending

U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins
WBFO News file photo

With much of the Washington debate focused on cutting the national debt, Congressman Brian Higgins will try to buck that trend later this month by introducing a transportation bill with a price tag exceeding $one trillion.

The five-year plan dubbed the "Nation Building Here at Home Act" would use federal dollars to help re-build roads, bridges and airports across the country.

According to the the Buffalo News, Higgins admits the spending plan faces difficult political circumstances, but argues it's needed to reverse a crumbling national infrastructure.

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Local
9:29 am
Mon April 9, 2012

Press Pass: Buffalo Spree editor reviews building preservation

Buffalo Spree Editor Elizabeth Licata
WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Vacant, historic buildings remain a theme across the city of Buffalo.  This week in our Press Conversation, WBFO and AM-970’s Eileen Buckley talks to Buffalo Spree Editor Elizabeth Licata.  Licata runs a monthly column called “Preservation Ready”.  

Licata updates us on the Trico Building and the former Fairfield Library in North Buffalo.  She also profiles the Shea's Seneca building in South Buffalo featured in this month's Buffalo Spree.

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Local
8:58 am
Mon April 9, 2012

"Red Flag Warning" issued for Western New York

Dry grounds combined with today's low humidity and gusty winds have prompted the National Weather Service to issue an alert regarding outdoor fires.

The National Weather Service has issued a "Red Flag Warning" from 11am through 6pm today.

"It's pretty rare for us to issue these. Our fire weather season is usually pretty short," said meteorologist Jon Hitchcock. 

"I'd say once every few years we have a bona fide 'Red Flag Warning' event here in Western New York."

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Local
8:38 am
Mon April 9, 2012

Disappointing Sabres clear out lockers

Sabres lockerroom at First Niagara center
WBFO News file photo

As 16 NHL teams prepare for the start of this week's Stanley Cup playoffs, the Buffalo Sabres will be cleaning out their lockers Monday and answering questions regarding their failure to make the post-season for the third time in the last five years.

A season-ending shootout loss on Saturday to the Boston Bruins gave the Sabres a 39-32-and-11 record,  producing 89 points which ranked 19th in the 30-team league.

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Prominant developer dies at 94
10:52 am
Sun April 8, 2012

Founder of Benderson Development Co. passes in Florida

One of Western New York's most prominent real estate developers has died.

Nathan Benderson, founder of the Benderson Development Company, suffered a stroke on Tuesday while in Florida and passed at the age of 94. He was the magnate behind the Thruway Mall, Delaware Consumer Square, the Outlet Mall in Niagara Falls and numerous other projects both in the region and nationwide.

The News reports that Benderson, a high school dropout, began following his entrepreneurial instincts while a teenager in the Depression.

He is survived by his wife and three sons.

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Bravado might have led to train tragedy
10:36 am
Sun April 8, 2012

Investigators suspect a dare is behind deaths in train accident

A youthful game might have been behind the deadly train accident in Westfield on Friday.

Authorities are investigating the possibility that three men being struck by a freight train might have resulted from a dare. All three men are in their twenties. Two of the victims were killed. The third is recovering from  serious injuries in a Pennsylvania hospital.

The accident occurred as the men were running along a railroad bridge in Westfield.

The train was fitted with a camera and authorities believe that the footage will help in their investigation.

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Slaughter home after suffering broken leg
10:28 am
Sun April 8, 2012

Slaughter back in Rochester after accident in New York City

WBFO News file photo WBFO

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter has returned to Rochester after suffering a broken leg in New York City.

Slaughter fell while in The Big Apple last week. The fall injured her left leg. The Congresswoman expressed relief that the injury wasn't worse and that it won't prevent her from fulfilling her duties and responsibilities to the people of Western New York.

Doctors at the University of Rochester Medical Center claim that her rehabilitation is going well and that they expect a full recovery.
 

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UB student organization avoids costly loss
10:48 am
Sat April 7, 2012

Thousands of dollars nearly lost by UB student organization

An apparent Internet scam nearly cost a student government organization at the University at Buffalo many thousands of dollars.

Two officials with the UB Student Association, working outside of established protocols, contracted with Virtual Academix for website development costing $300,000. The News reports that other officials with the student organization halted the process before money was exchanged.

The investigation continues but criminal charges are not expected to be filed.
 

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Ponzi scheme sinks investor in Federal Court
10:37 am
Sat April 7, 2012

Local man sentenced for operating Ponzi scheme

A Hamburg man will serve jail time for a decades long investment scheme.

Timothy Geidel employed a Ponzi scheme to bilk investors, many who were family and friends, of more than $1 million over twenty years. Geidel was given a three and a half year prison sentence in federal court. He is also required to repay $1.3 million.

Civil suits against the Geidel and the companies he represented are still pending.

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UB hires provost
10:30 am
Sat April 7, 2012

New provost selected for UB

UB President Satish Tripathi has announced the hiring of a new school provost.

Chemical engineer Charles Zukoski will fill the $400,000 per year post. Zukoski is the chairman of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

He will begin his new job this summer.

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You & The Law
5:59 pm
Fri April 6, 2012

You & The Law: Financial Planning

On this week's You & The Law, Mike Desmond talks with attorney Modesto Argenio about the need for financial planning, no matter what your age.

Argenio says financial planning covers not only a traditional will, but also health care proxies, living wills and powers of attorney.

Click the play button above to hear's this week edition.

 

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Local
4:06 pm
Fri April 6, 2012

Army Staff Sgt. William Wilson III remembered, laid to rest

Staff Sgt. William R. "Billy" Wilson III of Getzville was laid to rest today at Elmlawn Cemetery in Tonawanda, following funeral services at The Chapel at Crosspoint in Amherst.

Wilson, a seven-year military veteran, was killed by Afghan security forces March 26 at a police checkpoint. Wilson, 27, was one of three coalition troops to die that day in an escalation of anti-American sentiment in Afghanistan following a civilian massacre and the burning of Qurans at a U.S. base.

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Local
3:44 pm
Fri April 6, 2012

Easter shoppers flood Broadway Market

broadwaymarket.org

Shoppers by the thousands are stopping by Buffalo's venerable Broadway Market today. 

Good Friday is traditionally the busiest day of the year for market vendors.  The stands selling meats, baked goods, and butter lambs are the most popular, but there are also some new vendors who say they're enjoying some success. 

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Local
11:30 am
Fri April 6, 2012

Bridges bracing for busy weekend

Delays early this morning offer a reminder that Easter weekend is traditionally a busy time at the area's international crossings.

Last year, the Rainbow Bridge handled nearly 26,000 vehicles heading into the United States during the weekend.

Over 23,000 vehicles used the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge to enter Canada.

Bridge officials say peak traffic along the bridges tend to be from mid-afternoon into the evening while early mornings offer shorter waits.

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Local
11:23 am
Fri April 6, 2012

Rebates spark sales of new appliances

The state's effort to boost the purchase of new energy-efficient refrigerators and washing machines produced plenty of buyers.

Across New York, $3.5 million in Stimulus funds was handed out in rebates to push the purchase of more than 13,000 washers and refrigerators, according to NYSERDA Assistant Communications Director Dayle Zatlin.

Over $300,000 of the rebates have been distributed locally.

"Erie is one of our largest participating counties. We had over a thousand applications from Erie County," Zatlin said.

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